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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > What is the longest length a ThunderBolt cable can be?

What is the longest length a ThunderBolt cable can be?
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May 5, 2013, 09:24 AM
 
Looking to get a long thunderbolt cable. How long can it be?
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May 5, 2013, 11:29 AM
 
3m (10ft).

Once optical, 100+m.

-t
     
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May 5, 2013, 04:22 PM
 
once optical? how does it turn optical?
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May 5, 2013, 04:58 PM
 
     
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May 5, 2013, 10:59 PM
 
Optical is the next generation. You can't turn copper cables into optical.

-t
     
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May 6, 2013, 01:06 AM
 
Actually, turtle, you can: Thunderbolt cables are active cables, so all you need is the proper cable.
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May 6, 2013, 02:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Optical is the next generation. You can't turn copper cables into optical.

-t
The links I posted should open your eyes. Click them.
     
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May 6, 2013, 02:33 PM
 
Uhm, how do you turn an EXISTING thunderbolt copper cable into an optional one ?

Note: I did NOT speak about thunderbolt ports and accessories.

-t
     
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May 6, 2013, 06:25 PM
 
Oh, sorry. That seemed kind of self-evident; sort of like saying "you can't turn an Ethernet cable into air". It seemed so basic that it didn't seem like a point you would actually be making; I misunderstood.
     
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May 7, 2013, 07:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Uhm, how do you turn an EXISTING thunderbolt copper cable into an optional one ?
Splice it, attach your electro-optical hardware and optical path.
     
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May 7, 2013, 10:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Splice it, attach your electro-optical hardware and optical path.
That's exactly what the OP needed to know.

-t
     
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May 7, 2013, 11:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Uhm, how do you turn an EXISTING thunderbolt copper cable into an optional one ?

Note: I did NOT speak about thunderbolt ports and accessories.
I'm not sure I understand what you're saying: nobody here claims you can transmute a copper cable into an optical cable, just that you can buy an optical cable that works with all your existing copper-based Thunderbolt port.

The OP asked what the longest Thunderbolt cable is he can buy, and the answer is that he should get an optical cable (which hooks right into his non-optical Thunderbolt ports). The longest ones are at least 30 m long.
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May 9, 2013, 03:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I'm not sure I understand what you're saying: nobody here claims you can transmute a copper cable into an optical cable, just that you can buy an optical cable that works with all your existing copper-based Thunderbolt port.

The OP asked what the longest Thunderbolt cable is he can buy, and the answer is that he should get an optical cable (which hooks right into his non-optical Thunderbolt ports). The longest ones are at least 30 m long.
The OP asked how you can turn copper into optical.

-t
     
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May 9, 2013, 03:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
The OP asked how you can turn copper into optical.

-t
No, that was you being a smartass and putting words in his mouth.

He asked how a Thunderbolt cable could turn optical, and the answer to that is simply, by having the appropriate connectors, which include the optical converters. I.e. by buyin the appropriate cable.

Are we done here?
     
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May 9, 2013, 03:38 PM
 
No, we're not done, because you completely misunderstand what the OP (she, btw) wants.

She's concerned about LENGTH, therefore, just adding optical connectors to copper cables doesn't help shit.

It's not my fault that "Once optical" (meaning once optical cables are available) was misunderstood / -construed as retrofitting a copper cable. You guys started that fruitless discussion.

NOW we're done.

-t
     
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May 9, 2013, 03:43 PM
 
I'm not sure that was misunderstood by anyone, since the only post confusing the issue was yours.

It was clear, I would think, from oreo's and my responses.

You might wish to ride the semantic issue; we were concerned with helping out the OP.
     
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May 9, 2013, 06:05 PM
 
Whatever. You and Oreo completely went off on a tangent with this completely irrelevant "turning a copper wire into optical" discussion. Since length was at the core if the OPs questions, YOUR answers added to the confusion, not mine.

-t
     
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May 9, 2013, 06:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Whatever. You and Oreo completely went off on a tangent with this completely irrelevant "turning a copper wire into optical" discussion. Since length was at the core if the OPs questions, YOUR answers added to the confusion, not mine.
WHAT

I merely posted links to optical cables introduced by Samsung and Corning.

I wrote absolutely nothing of any weird alchemy or conversion; just information on products that answered his question and solved his problem.

YOU wrote about "turning copper into optical", which prompted mduell's post on splicing cables, which I can only assume was tongue-in-cheek, since it's completely useless to the original poster, who is simply looking to buy a Thunderbolt cable in a length appropriate to his future setup.

I honestly have no idea what the hell is going on at this point, or what you think I said and you didn't, or vice versa, or what you think the original poster wanted/needed to know.
     
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May 9, 2013, 11:37 PM
 
Seriously ?

Originally Posted by Eden Aurora View Post
how does it turn optical?
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Optical is the next generation. You can't turn copper cables into optical.
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Actually, turtle, you can: Thunderbolt cables are active cables, so all you need is the proper cable.
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
The links I posted should open your eyes. Click them.
I really don't see how I gave wrong information.

I can, however, clearly see how oreo's is NOT addressing the OPs needs (longer cables), and your post seems to say that I'm mistaken about "You can't turn copper cables into optical", and that oreo's link would enlighten me.

Again, the premise of oreo's post was that you can turn a copper cable into optical. This is only indirectly possible (by adding a electrical to optical interface), but a completely irrelevant to the OP.

-t
( Last edited by turtle777; May 9, 2013 at 11:50 PM. )
     
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May 10, 2013, 03:37 AM
 
So you got confused by the fact that Oreo said "you can", when he actually meant "this can be done by manufacturers who include the appropriate converters in their cable".

"You can" in the figurative sense of "it can be done". That seems to be the simple misunderstanding here, though I'm surprised anyone could so confused by it. It's common usage.

I'm slightly flabbergasted that anybody could read those posts as meaning anything but "you can go longer stretches if you buy one of these optical cables here", and even more, that you could get so hung up on something that seems to me so completely clear and obvious.

Either way, I'm hoping it was obvious to the original poster, as well, as the thread would have fulfilled its purpose, end of story.
     
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May 10, 2013, 03:41 AM
 
So, to recap:

Maximum length for copper cables is 3m.

Theoretical maximum for optical cables (not available yet, but should be offered soon by Corning and Samsung) is 100+m.
     
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May 10, 2013, 03:42 AM
 
Turtle, I think the only one who is confused is you: the OP asked for a long Thunderbolt cables (presumably because he needs one). And we said that the longest ones he can use are a few tens of meters long, but use an optical fiber (= more expensive). But they do work with the standard Thunderbolt port that comes with modern Macs and Thunderbolt devices.

Your replies (»Optical is the next generation …«) indicate you think you cannot use optical cables with the current generation of Thunderbolt devices. This is incorrect, you can use an optical cable with the current Thunderbolt equipment, because the electro-optical transceiver is part of the cable (they are in the plugs).
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May 10, 2013, 04:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
you can turn a copper cable into optical. This is only indirectly possible (by adding a electrical to optical interface)
This is EXACTLY what those cables we linked to do.

There is talk of a future generation of Thunderbolt running over optical connectors.

Those optical cables we linked to are for the CURRENT generation of Thunderbolt - optical cables with built-in converters and copper connectors.

Was that the misunderstanding?
     
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May 10, 2013, 11:11 AM
 
I thought turtle's point was those optical conversion cables aren't available yet.

Current generation, but not currently available.
     
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May 10, 2013, 03:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I thought turtle's point was those optical conversion cables aren't available yet.

Current generation, but not currently available.
No, I was the one who wrote that no pricing info was available yet, to which he replied that optical is "the next generation".
     
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May 10, 2013, 09:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Turtle, I think the only one who is confused is you: the OP asked for a long Thunderbolt cables (presumably because he needs one). And we said that the longest ones he can use are a few tens of meters long, but use an optical fiber (= more expensive).
WTF ?

How am I confused when I gave the correct information FIRST ?

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Your replies (»Optical is the next generation …«) indicate you think you cannot use optical cables with the current generation of Thunderbolt devices.
No, YOU made that assumption. And you know the old saying about people who ASSume...

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
This is incorrect, you can use an optical cable with the current Thunderbolt equipment, because the electro-optical transceiver is part of the cable (they are in the plugs).
Tell me something new

-t
     
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May 10, 2013, 09:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
No, I was the one who wrote that no pricing info was available yet, to which he replied that optical is "the next generation".
Geez, next generation does NOT necessarily mean NOT available.

You guys need to stop ASSuming, and stop trying to spin your stupid derails...

-t
     
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May 11, 2013, 04:29 AM
 
For all your indignation, I still have no idea what you thought you were saying that we weren't.
     
   
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